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July 17, 2017 | by  | in TV |
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Twin Peaks — Season Three, Episode Eight

I wasn’t planning on writing about Twin Peaks until the third season was well and truly done and I had time to digest it. The beauty of David Lynch’s work is best grasped when viewed as a whole — season one is a mundane affair until episode three, when the first sighting of Bob really fucks you up, and, without seeing the second season, it ends on a fairly unsatisfactory cliffhanger.

But the reason the show is so revered is due to the complete picture. As a body of work, the first two seasons of Twin Peaks are relatively peerless in the realm of television mystery. Season 3 up to this point has managed to stay grounded in the extended universe of the world, and no matter how strange everything seems, there is an explanation for it that fits within the context of the show.

Then episode eight comes along. I liked to think I’d steeled myself to Lynch’s work, that it would be fairly hard to be shocked or made to feel way out of my depth.

Perhaps the best way to explain this would be to imagine a scenario. You’re at the center of a room that is inexplicably large, about a kilometre wide whichever way you look. Next to you is a clock that, unknown to you, is missing a gear, and so while it ticks, the minutes and hours never actually pass. The room is dark, windowless, lit only by the occasional 40 watt light bulb (some are fixed with a bayonet clasp, the majority are screw, however). You can aimlessly wander the room and never really feel like you’ve gone anywhere, but if you walk with purpose, in a straight line, you might find a wall, perhaps even a corner. Ultimately, however, this effort achieves nothing. You can scour the walls, walk the entire radius of the room, and you’ve still learnt no more than if you’d simply wandered aimlessly.

That’s how this episode made me feel. I thought I’d found the corner, that I was going to learn something and maybe finally understand what the fuck is going on in this stupid-ass little town. But all I got was a dimly lit surface that went straight up, instead of sideways. I’d picked out all these tiny details that looked like clues, but ultimately I know no more than anyone else. If I’d wandered aimlessly, I might have stumbled across some mysterious trapdoor, but by powering ahead, I completely missed seeing where I was going.

Originally, I couldn’t decide if this episode was the best of the season so far, or the worst. It seemed like Lynch had thrown absolutely every convention (that he actually follows) out of the window, and I wasn’t really sure how to react. But where else does he really have to go to shock an audience anymore? A complete left turn like this one is something that Twin Peaks thrives on, and I can only hope that with future episodes I maybe won’t feel so completely and utterly lost.

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